Mimosa Salad with Wild Garlic and Kalamata Olives: Rory O’Connell

rory salad rte 7516

“I make this salad all year round, varying the salad content according to the seasons and availability but I like it best of all in spring” says Rory.

Rory says: “Mixed organic leaves are the most obvious option but the salad works very well with just crispy watercress or chicory leaves. Wild garlic leaves are a great addition in spring as are the pretty white garlic flowers. As always choose the best quality oil and vinegar and measure accurately to ensure a correct balance of acidity in the dressing.

“Free-range eggs, hard boiled and yolks sieved are what create the mimosa effect here and hence the use of the word in the recipe title.

“I like to use fat and fleshy Kalamata olives which stone and chop easily. Be careful when assembling the salad to get the balance of ingredients correct. Remember this is a salad, so it is a selection of leaves which are lightly garnished with the other ingredients. Too much egg will make the salad seem too heavy, too much olive will overpower and equally too much parmesan will be too rich. The ingredients should tickle one another as you eat them giving an overall effect of lightness gilded with a few precious extras.”

Tips:

  • A selection of spring salad greens or a specific leaf like watercress or chicory can be used here.
  • Try and get free-range or organic eggs.
  • Large fleshy olives like Kalamata are perfect here. To stone an olive, place one at a time on a chopping board and press with the back of a chopping knife to press out the stone. Otherwise use an olive stoner if you have one.
  • Using a swivel headed vegetable peeler, shave the parmesan thinly off a larger piece straight on to the salads. Don’t worry if the parmesan breaks up a little and certainly perfect curls are of no advantage here, in fact perfect curls of parmesan can indicate an immature cheese.
  • Much of what is sold as balsamic vinegar is of poor quality, so search out a quality vinegar and if in doubt about the quality, replace it in the recipe with lemon juice of a good sherry vinegar.

Ingredients:

  • 4 hand-fulls of organic mixed leaves: watercress, wild garlic, butterhead, chicory leaves, chervil sprigs, coarsely chopped spring chives, basically whatever is at its freshest and best
  • 2 eggs
  • 16 fat Kalamata olives
  • 12 thin parmesan shavings or pieces

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small clove of garlic, peeled and finely crushed
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Hard boil the eggs by lowering them gently into a saucepan of boiling, salted water and cooking them at a boil for exactly 10 minutes. If you don’t want the yolk completely hard, cook for 9 minutes. The salt in the water seasons the egg and will help to coagulate any white that might seep out of a crack in the shell, hence less leakage.
  2. Remove from the saucepan immediately and cool under a cold running tap. Remove the shell and cut the hard boiled eggs in half.
  3. Chop the white finely.
  4. Pass the yolk through a sieve, using the back of a soup spoon to push the egg through to achieve a mimosa type effect. Keep the chopped white and sieved yolk separate.
  5. Stone the olives by gently squashing them on a chopping board with the back of a chopping knife and removing the stones.
  6. Chop the olive flesh finely and reserve.
  7. Mix the ingredients for the dressing together, taste and correct seasoning.

To assemble the salad:

  1. Place the leaves in a large bowl and dress with just enough dressing to make the leaves glisten.
  2. On four large plates, first place a wide broken circle of the chopped olive on each plate.
  3. Divide and spread the egg white in the centre of the circles of olive.
  4. Place the leaves in a light pile on top of the egg white.
  5. Gently, place 3 parmesan shavings or pieces on each salad. Finally sprinkle the egg yolk “mimosa” on each salad.
  6. Serve immediately.

http://www.rte.ie/lifestyle/food/recipes/2016/0505/786264-spring-mimosa-salad/

Neven Maguire’s mum Vera’s Seafood Chowder

By Neven Maguire

Celebrity Chef

This is a very filling soup that is actually a recipe of my mum’s that we have been making on and off in the restaurant for years. Use the very best quality fish and shellfish for the best flavour

Ingredients

  • 1 tblsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tblsp butter, softened
  • 2 large potatoes, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
  • 1 small onion, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
  • 1/2 small leek, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
  • 1 tblsp plain flour
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) dry white wine
  • 300 ml (1/2 pint) fish stock (page 254)
  • 100 g (4oz) skinless salmon fillet, cut into cubes
  • 100 g (4oz) smoked coley fillet, cut into cubes
  • 100 g (4oz) cooked mussel meat
  • 100 g (4oz) cooked peeled prawns
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) cream
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tblsp parsley oil (page 250), to garnish
  • fresh micro salad, to garnish
  • makes about 1.2 litres (2 pints)
  • 250 g (9oz) white fish trimmings and/or bones (such as lemon sole, brill or plaice bones)
  • 3 leeks, trimmed and chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • large handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 175 ml (6fl oz) dry white wine
  • 100 g (4oz) fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 100 ml (3 1/2fl oz) rapeseed oil
  • sea salt

Method

  • Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and then add the butter. Once it stops sizzling, tip in the potatoes, onion, carrot and leek and cook for 5 minutes, until softened but not coloured. Add the flour and cook on a low heat for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Season to taste.
  • Gradually pour the wine into the pan and allow it to bubble down, stirring continuously. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the salmon and coley and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the mussel meat, prawns and cream and simmer for another 2–3 minutes, until warmed through. Stir in the herbs and season to taste.
  • To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish each one with the parsley oil and micro salad.

Method

  • Rinse the fish bones and trimmings of any blood, which would make the stock look cloudy and taste bitter. Place into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot with the leeks, carrots, fennel and parsley.
  • Pour in the white wine, then add 2.4 litres (4 pints) cold water to cover the fish and vegetables. Place on a high heat and bring to a simmer. After 5 minutes, remove the scum that forms on the surface with a spoon and discard. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes, skimming as necessary.
  • At the end of the cooking time, remove the stock from the heat and strain, discarding the fish trimmings and the vegetables. Cool and store in a plastic covered jug in the fridge and use as required.

Method

  • Pick the leaves from the parsley and place in a mini blender, discarding the stalks. Add the rapeseed oil and a pinch of salt and blend for 5 minutes, until completely smooth.
  • Pass the parsley mixture through a fine sieve into a jug and then transfer to a squeezy bottle. Use as required.

Notes

Neven’s tips: This soup can be made up to 24 hours in advance and kept covered in the fridge. Just be careful when reheating not to allow it to come to the boil or the fish will lose its texture. Splash out on a rosé Champagne, rosé Cava or a ripe Chardonnay from Macon in Burgundy.

This recipe and many more are available in Neven Maguire’s The MacNean Restaurant Cookbook, published by Gill & MacMillan Books and available to buy here.